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Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to promote the active role of children and young people in governance programmes (a) in Bangladesh and (b) elsewhere. 
Mr. Thomas: Better governance is a central theme of DFID's work in Bangladesh. Programmes range from activities fighting corruption and supporting reform of the civil service and police, to supporting public debates and protecting human rights. Participation of children and young people has most impact on activities that aim to change values in relation to corruption and political governance.
For example, DFIDs support for Transparency International Bangladesh includes a component called Youth Engagement and Support (YES). Over 900 young volunteers deliver nationwide debates, competitions, and rallies against corruption. The recent Anti-Corruption Concert in Dhaka attracted 30,000 young people in a bold public statement against corruption.
DFID Bangladesh also supports a series of governance themed programmes and Question time debates broadcast in Bangla on BBC World Service radio and local satellite TV. Audiences of 17 million have included around 4 million 16 to 24-year-olds. In 2005, a special live debate went out globally on BBC World TV, with a panel including politicians from both major parties in Bangladesh. Hard hitting governance questions came from audiences of students and young people in both Dhaka and (by satellite) from the British Bangladeshi community in London.
At global level, DFID launched its Action Plan on Children and Young Peoples Participation in 2004 to promote children and young peoples participation in decisions affecting them. Part of a UK Government initiative Learning to Listen, the Action Plan describes how DFID is involving children and young people in its work to reduce world poverty.
DFID continues to promote the active role of children and young people in governance programmes. Our work varies at the country level depending on the context. In Sierra Leone, for example, DFID has supported work to engage young people in dialogue on the implementation of the national Poverty Reduction Strategy and the decentralisation process. Given its history, engaging young people is crucial in creating consensus and relieving tensions.
Reflecting UN initiatives and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), we also support projects and programmes to advocate for childrens rights, either directly or through non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The UK Government are also a major contributor to the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF); one of UNICEFs roles is to advocate for the rights of children and young people.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what strategies his Department has to ensure protection for the poorest communities in Bangladesh who will be affected by climate change. 
Mr. Thomas: The impact of climate change on Bangladesh from rising sea levels will be gradual; felt over the next 50 to 100 years. However, there is already evidence of more severe and frequent flooding and droughts, as well as coastal salt-water intrusion, negatively affecting poor people.
DFIDs draft Country Assistance Plan (2007-12) aims to help Bangladesh respond in a timelier and more effective way to acute emergencies and climate change. DFID is helping the Government of Bangladeshs Climate Change Cell develop different strategies to adapt to climate change, including impacts of migration and resettlement on poor people. It has helped 137 poor communities develop their own risk reduction strategies.
DFID is also helping very poor people living on Chars river islands, which are vulnerable to flooding. We have assisted 107,000 Chars dwellers to raise their houses above the flood line. We have transferred portable assets (such as cows) to almost 11,000 extremely poor Chars women, helping them to make better and more informed decisions about where and when to migrate, together with a compensation grant to those who migrate due to more acute flooding.
DFID will provide £115 million over the next five years to support the very poorest people living in areas most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. By September 2007, it will develop an action plan to develop further activities, including protection of the poorest people living in the most vulnerable zones in urban areas.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) funding and (b) other resources his Department (i) has committed to micro-insurance schemes in the developing world and (ii) plans to commit in each of the next three financial years. 
Hilary Benn: The UK's 2006 White Paper on International Development commits DFID to tackling barriers to access to markets and financial services, and supporting microfinance initiatives in partnership with banks and regulators.
DFID's financial sector programmes aim to build stronger and more inclusive financial sectors, which benefit the poor. Microfinance incorporates a full
range of financial products, which includes micro-insurance as well as savings, credit and remittances.
At 31 October 2006, DFID has spent over £165 million to support microfinance and financial sector projects and had committed 140 million more to ongoing projects. DFID does not disaggregate funding on micro-insurance specifically. It is not possible to give a meaningful breakdown of future commitments by year as new programmes to improve access to finance continue to be designed and implemented.
In India, Megatop received a grant of £850,000 via the Financial Services Deepening Trust, to support them in offering a range of microinsurance products and pension policies to farmers in 9,000 villages in Andhra and Madhya Pradesh using a network of village internet portals to lower costs and expand access.
Since the last review of commitments in October, DFID has approved a £32.8 million seven-year PROSPER programme in Bangladesh, which will support delivery of innovative financial services to the very poor, small businesses and farmers. Around 22 per cent. of these resources will go to a Learning and Innovation Fund which will support projects to test innovative financial services, including microinsurance.
DFID provides core funding to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a consortium of 33 public and private development agencies working together to expand access to financial services for the poor. The CGAP working group on microinsurance, in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation, has recently published a Microinsurance Compendium for insurance practitioners and policy makers in developing countries.
DFID is a leading supporter of FIRST, the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative, a multi-donor trust which provides advice to developing countries on how to develop their financial sectors. In Mongolia FIRST has worked with the insurance industry, the government and the World Bank to develop a novel livestock insurance scheme that will provide microinsurance to cattle herders at affordable prices.
Hilary Benn: Surveys carried out by the FinMark Trust, a DFID funded programme in Africa, show that poor people already use a wide variety of formal and informal insurance services ranging from insurance provided by multinational companies to membership of traditional burial societies.
DFID has helped support the recent expansion of micro-insurance in developing countries as an effective way to help poor people to cope with shocks and reduce their vulnerability. Poor people need to be able to access a full range of financial services including insurance as well as savings, credit and remittances.
Although it is a relatively young industry, micro-insurance is already demonstrating its potential to provide protection to low-income communities against risks such as sickness and natural disasters. There remain big challenges, however, to the long-term
sustainability of microinsurance including making sure that schemes are affordable and ensuring that schemes are appropriately regulated.
In Bangladesh, DFID contributed £100,000 to an access to rural finance study. In conjunction with the World Bank, the study investigated the feasibility of introducing a weather linked insurance product for farmers, where payouts are directly linked to objective monitoring of floods and droughts.
In Africa the FinMark Trust has spent £271,000 over the last three years on programmes aimed at making insurance markets work for the poor and has committed a similar amount over the next three years. The funding has been provided to catalyse change in the insurance market and to leverage private sector investment.
Hilary Benn: Recent research by Cranfield university shows that the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing flowers in Kenya and flying them to the UK can be less than a fifth of those grown in Holland because they are not grown in heated greenhouses.
Flowers imported to the UK are subject to increasingly rigorous standards that insist on good agricultural practice and prevent overuse of pesticides. In addition to these standards, flower growers may also adopt codes of conduct that require exacting social and environmental standards to be maintained. UK shoppers have played an important role in demanding better standards as have development agencies including DFID and non-governmental organisations. Consumer concern has also encouraged Kenyan flower farms to invest in water conservation and other improvements in their environmental practice. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement and we welcome efforts to develop similar codes of practice in Ethiopia.
Promoting developing country exports has long been central to UK development and trade policy. Agriculture remains an important source of economic growth and the best means of reducing poverty in most African countries. The Kenyan flower industry has created tens of thousands of jobs on flower farms and the Ethiopian Government have similar ambitions for their flower industry.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total cost has been of (a) setting up and (b) managing the Temporary International Mechanism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 
In total, €309 million has been committed through the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) and €181 million has been
disbursed to support Palestinian basic needs. The cost of setting up and managing the TIM so far has been approximately €4 million. This total includes all staff-related costs, logistics, office costs, consumables, communication activities, auditing services provided by an international auditing firm and monitoring of fuel deliveries in Gaza. In addition, €5.8 million has been spent on banking charges so far. The total cost of administering the TIM to date amounts to 5.4 per cent. of the total funds disbursed to support Palestinian basic needs.
Hilary Benn: There are currently 23 staff members working at the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) office. This includes European Commission staff and staff seconded by member states. Altogether 32 different members of staff have worked at the TIM office at different times since work began.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received from the advertising industry on the impact of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) provide certain safeguards for employees in certain circumstances when a business or undertaking changes hands, and can also apply where a contract to provide goods or services is transferred.
The 2006 Regulations were produced after extensive consultation with all sides of industry. A professional services exemption (which might have covered parts of the advertising industry, among others) was considered during that process but most respondents (including the CBI) did not support it.
I met the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Peter Luff) with representatives of the advertising industry to discuss their concerns on 12 March. Our officials are currently considering papers provided by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising at that meeting, and plan to meet them shortly to discuss this matter further.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Occupation Exposure Limit-Framework Revision to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. 
(i) The costs to business of implementing the Occupational Exposure Limit-Framework Revision to businesses was estimated to be £16.2-£69 million one-off costs in the first year of compliance. No recurring costs were expected.
It should be noted that these costs were also included in the answer to a recent question on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004, as these regulations implemented the changes to the Occupational Exposure Limit Framework.
These figures should be considered against the benefits of reducing the risks from hazardous substances. The new framework aimed to make it easier for employers to comply with COSHH by reducing the different types of Occupational Exposure Limits for hazardous substances and introducing clear principles of exposure control.
(ii) Costs to the health and safety regulators were not quantified but were considered to be small, with the majority of costs being incurred in the development of guidance and being balanced out by savings in enforcement. The information in this reply was drawn from the final regulatory impact assessment for the legislation that is available in the Library or on the HSE website at:
The Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are committed to meeting the Better Regulations challenge. HSE is constantly reviewing what can be done better to ensure that the right balance is struck between protecting people at work and avoiding unnecessary burdens on business. Reviewing and improving the guidance to help employers comply with COSHH is one of the aims in HSEs simplification plan.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. 
The cost to business of implementing the Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 was estimated to be between £131 million and £220 million over a 10-year period, of which between £62 million and £151 million were initial costs.
Costs, over the same period, to the health and safety regulators were estimated to be in the region of £2 million of which £343,000 were initial costs. The information in this reply was drawn from the final regulatory impact assessment for the legislation that is available in the Library or on the House website at:
The Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are committed to meeting the Better Regulation challenge. HSE is constantly reviewing
what can be done better to ensure that people are protected at work while avoiding unnecessary burdens on business.
Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research the Government are undertaking into the long-term merits of electric heating by comparison with other heating sources. 
This analysis includes examining the costs of low carbon electricity generation technologies such as renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage as well as measures to improve energy efficiency through measures such as better insulation and draught proofing.
Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research the Government plan to carry out on the long-term effect on carbon emissions of electric heating by comparison with other heating sources. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government have undertaken a wide range of analysis of the options to reduce carbon emissions from different sources. This includes the 2003 Energy White Paper and the review of the Climate Change Programme and Energy Review both in 2006.
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